On the scoreboard, the Effingham County Lady Rebels basketball team won Friday night and won convincingly. Coach Nate Hayes hopes the loss they had is short term at best.
Senior guard Marie Fogle, the team’s defensive stopper and senior leader, went down with an injury with 4:45 to play in the game in the Lady Rebels’ 51-27 victory over Ware County. She was X-rayed late Friday night.
“I hope it’s just sprained,” Hayes said. “I hope it’s nothing serious. She’s a tough little girl, and I know she was hurting when she was lying on the floor. The worst case scenario … I don’t want to think about it.”
Fogle was fouled going in for a layup attempt, and Whitney Roberson was summoned off the bench to shoot the free throws. She hit one of two to put the Lady Rebels ahead 43-21.
Effingham (7-3, 1-1 Region 3-AAAA) led 20-11 at the half and put the game away in the third quarter, thanks in no small part to a huge night from Sierra Goldwire. Goldwire had 12 points in the third quarter and finished with a career-best 24 for the game. She was 12 of 17 from the field.
“I told them at halftime we had to put them away in the third quarter, and they responded,” Hayes said. “I was proud of them. That was good win. The games that matter are the region games, and we’ve got six more subregion games.”
The Lady Rebels were 25 of 39 from the floor, a sizzling 64 percent shooting night.
“All our shots were in the paint,” Hayes said. “They weren’t jumpers.”
Goldwire’s final bucket of the night gave the Lady Rebels their biggest lead, 47-23, with 2:20 to play. Hayes emptied his bench soon after.
Kyana Barber had eight points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots while Shaniqua Goldwire added eight points and four blocks. Fogle had four points, and Skky Bean and Kaitlyn Dickey had two points each.
It was the Lady Rebels’ first game since their pre-Christmas tournament in Columbia, S.C., two weeks ago. Hayes held two practices after Christmas and two more after New Year’s, ending with scrimmages where the players chose sides, coached themselves and he didn’t officiate. The losing team had to run after practice, giving the players a little more incentive.
“We practiced hard,” he said. “We worked on fundamentals and then I let them scrimmage. I told them, ‘Do what we do.’ It was competitive. They didn’t want to lose. We made it fun, but they got a chance to work on everything.”